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Pyth80

Moving within the industry

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Hello,

 

     I have been a Game Designer for 3 years now and I am thinking of  leaving the country to continue my carrier. But the main problem is that this  was my first job and I was extremely lucky to have landed it without any experience in the field besides modding, thus my experience in the job field is 0. I don't even have a CV yet :) .So  I have a couple of questions before I make any decisions. Any input would help.

 

1. I did not finish University. I started working during my 4th year and because I did not have time to keep my job and continue uni, I dropped out of uni. My domain was Control Systems Engineering so relatively unrelated to Game Development except the programming aspect. The question is how much will that bite me in the ass. How should i handle it in my CV?? I knew it was a risk but I decided it's better to continue with Game Design.

 

2. I work at a big mobile developer. I would like to look for a position in a AAA studio, mainly focused on pc/console games. While some of the games i've worked are AAA for mobile standard, I am unsure of how much my experience matters when transitioning to non mobile. Should I stick with mobile or do I have a decent shot at non-mobile?

 

3. Do I qualify as a Senior Designer? I have worked as both Level, Game and Lead Designer on various projects. Seniorship seems to vary depending on the company from what i've seen.

 

4. Do I need to make a portfolio or something similar, besides listing the games I have worked on and my role there?

 

5. Any tips on what to focus on when writing my CV?

 

6. Should i write my CV in LaTeX? I really enjoy the professional and clean look of latex documents and presentations. I have heard both sides of the argument but not in game development. Any opinions on this ?

 

7. There are not a lot  of game dev companies in my country so my best best is applying somewhere in the UE ( my country is in the UE as well). Is my relocating whithin the UE a big problem for game companies? I cannot really afford to move BEFORE I have a job there.

 

 

 

This is all for now. Any additional help/info would also be appreciated.

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

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1. I did not finish University. I started working during my 4th year and because I did not have time to keep my job and continue uni, I dropped out of uni. My domain was Control Systems Engineering so relatively unrelated to Game Development except the programming aspect. The question is how much will that bite me in the ass. How should i handle it in my CV?? I knew it was a risk but I decided it's better to continue with Game Design.
2. I work at a big mobile developer. I would like to look for a position in a AAA studio, mainly focused on pc/console games. While some of the games i've worked are AAA for mobile standard, I am unsure of how much my experience matters when transitioning to non mobile. Should I stick with mobile or do I have a decent shot at non-mobile?
3. Do I qualify as a Senior Designer? I have worked as both Level, Game and Lead Designer on various projects. Seniorship seems to vary depending on the company from what i've seen.
4. Do I need to make a portfolio or something similar, besides listing the games I have worked on and my role there?
6. Should i write my CV in LaTeX? I really enjoy the professional and clean look of latex documents and presentations. I have heard both sides of the argument but not in game development. Any opinions on this ?
7. There are not a lot of game dev companies in my country so my best best is applying somewhere in the UE ( my country is in the UE as well). Is my relocating whithin the UE a big problem for game companies? I cannot really afford to move BEFORE I have a job there.


1. Handle it truthfully.
2. You don't have a "decent shot" at a non-mobile design job. You are now "pigeonholed." That means that people will look at your experience and will decide that's all you can do.
3. No. You do not. You have only 3 years experience, in mobile games. That doesn't mean you can't apply for senior design positions -- go right ahead.
4. Yes, of course you need a portfolio. I hope you made screen shots of the games you designed, kept samples of your work.
6. Industry standard is Word, but if your latex can save in PDF format, that's fine.
7. You might need to move before applying, but maybe not. Is the UE the same thing as the EU? For raw beginners, my "location, location, location" rule is an absolute rule. But for someone with 3 years experience, it's much less of a rule. The problem is that you've been a designer and now you're looking for a new designer job, but most companies would rather promote from within rather than hire a mobile designer from some other company (unless your designs have shaken up the market in a big way). Edited by Tom Sloper

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1. I did not finish University. I started working during my 4th year and because I did not have time to keep my job and continue uni, I dropped out of uni. My domain was Control Systems Engineering so relatively unrelated to Game Development except the programming aspect. The question is how much will that bite me in the ass. How should i handle it in my CV?? I knew it was a risk but I decided it's better to continue with Game Design.
2. I work at a big mobile developer. I would like to look for a position in a AAA studio, mainly focused on pc/console games. While some of the games i've worked are AAA for mobile standard, I am unsure of how much my experience matters when transitioning to non mobile. Should I stick with mobile or do I have a decent shot at non-mobile?
3. Do I qualify as a Senior Designer? I have worked as both Level, Game and Lead Designer on various projects. Seniorship seems to vary depending on the company from what i've seen.
4. Do I need to make a portfolio or something similar, besides listing the games I have worked on and my role there?
6. Should i write my CV in LaTeX? I really enjoy the professional and clean look of latex documents and presentations. I have heard both sides of the argument but not in game development. Any opinions on this ?
7. There are not a lot of game dev companies in my country so my best best is applying somewhere in the UE ( my country is in the UE as well). Is my relocating whithin the UE a big problem for game companies? I cannot really afford to move BEFORE I have a job there.


1. Handle it truthfully.
2. You don't have a "decent shot" at a non-mobile design job. You are now "pigeonholed." That means that people will look at your experience and will decide that's all you can do.
3. No. You do not. You have only 3 years experience, in mobile games. That doesn't mean you can't apply for senior design positions -- go right ahead.
4. Yes, of course you need a portfolio. I hope you made screen shots of the games you designed, kept samples of your work.
6. Industry standard is Word, but if your latex can save in PDF format, that's fine.
7. You might need to move before applying, but maybe not. Is the UE the same thing as the EU? For raw beginners, my "location, location, location" rule is an absolute rule. But for someone with 3 years experience, it's much less of a rule. The problem is that you've been a designer and now you're looking for a new designer job, but most companies would rather promote from within rather than hire a mobile designer from some other company (unless your designs have shaken up the market in a big way).

 

 

Thanks for the speedy  reply. Yes the UE was a misspell of the EU. Regarding number 2: I was afraid of that. What are my options to get un pigeon holed? Creating an indie game? Or a mod ? I would not like to continue developing mobile games if I don't have to.

 

Regarding number 4 : All the games i have worked on are currently available on the appstore, so i guess keeping screenshots is not really an issue since I haven't really done that.

 

Any additional advice for my situation would also be appreciated.

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1. What are my options to get un pigeon holed? Creating an indie game? Or a mod ?
2. Regarding number 4 : All the games i have worked on are currently available on the appstore, so i guess keeping screenshots is not really an issue since I haven't really done that.


1. Yes, of course.
2. I don't understand what you're saying. Make a portfolio -- show the stuff that you did.

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I have a decent amount of experience in this as a programmer. After working 1 1/2 in serious games, physical rehabilitation games w/ kinect, it was hard to leave or get any offers in anything other than more serious games. I joined a mobile and was there for 1-2 years. I am currently not in the game industry but when looking for jobs over all these years, the console/pc companies always looked down upon my experience. It's really sad but they snuff at you and say "oh, you were in mobile. Well I don't know if you have what it takes to cut it in console/pc". I honestly have had senior programmers say this to me during interviews. So be prepared for a big uphill battle.

 

My biggest advice is do some design and projects for pc or console to get your portfolio to show you are migrating towards those markets. So if you want to work on AAA fps's, you should make a FPS side project. If you want to work on PC rpg's, make a PC rpg on the side. It's much harder to sell yourself as mobile designer who wants to become a console designer. It's much easier to sell yourself as mobile designer who loves console design so much he makes them on the side.

 

Also I think this should be taught to people entering the industry. YOU WILL BE PIGEONHOLED TO WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE IS. Judging from my extremely limited experience I would say it goes: First party developer (for console) -> AAA Console -> AAA PC -> 3ds/PSP games -> AAA mobile (if such a thing exist) -> Console/3ds/psp download game -> PC indie games -> regular or indie mobile -> facebook/flash/portal games -> experiemental games -> serious games -> education games

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1) I didn't finish either. My career started due to my modding experience with certain tools. Just handle it honestly - if you're really concerned then you should finish the degree. Ultimately your portfolio and your demonstrable experience is what counts.

2) It doesn't matter, try both. If you're working strictly in design your skills should be able to transition across boundaries. You will probably find it easier to land work doing similar games to what you are already working with.

3) In the AAA space, certainly not. It does vary from developer to developer, but usually you're looking at some fairly extensive experience with a number of shipped titles from start to finish. At companies I've worked at, most senior designers were approaching a decade in the industry and / or had five or six large scale games under their belts.

4) Portfolio is the single most important thing you could have.

7) If you're in the EU it's easy to get work in the EU. I move around all the time :)

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